[skill percent=”11″ title=”Kashmir Day” bar_foreground=”#f00″ bar_background=”#eee”]
[skill percent=”5″ title=”IMF” bar_foreground=”#f60″ bar_background=”#eee”]
[skill percent=”4″ title=”Army Chief on Terrorism” bar_foreground=”#900″ bar_background=”#eee”]
[skill percent=”52″ title=”Other News” bar_foreground=”#f00″ bar_background=”#eee”]
Pakistan marks February 5th as Kashmir Solidarity Day every year as people from different walks of life, civil society and political parties took out rallies across the country with fervor to support struggle of the people of Kashmir for their liberation. Senate on Wednesday also passed a resolution calling upon the United Nations and the international community to play its role for the resolution of Kashmir dispute in line with the resolutions of the United Nation Security Council and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
On Thursday Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the joint session of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and Kashmir Council, said that government of Pakistan had raised the Kashmir issue at every platform including United Nations General Assembly and would also continue moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris for their right of self determination. He also linked regional peace with resolution of Kashmir dispute. The session was also attended by Azad Jammu Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed.
Meanwhile Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry held a briefing session with Islamabad-based ambassadors of OIC countries on the status of Kashmir. He said that peace in the region would not be possible without solution to the Kashmir problem in accordance with the UN resolutions. Foreign secretary also expressed deep concern over the policies of BJP government in India aimed at dividing the population on ethnic, religious and communal lines.
The second story to make headlines in Pakistani press is IMF’s grant to Pakistan. The IMF has recommended release of $518 million, following review of Pakistan’s improved economic performance.
An IMF team met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team in Dubai and held discussions on the sixth review under Pakistan’s $6.6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). According to media reports the IMF mission and the Pakistani authorities have reached understandings on the sixth review of the program, however disbursement will only come after the approval of board. Upon completion of the review, US$518 million would be made available to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, media reports quoted IMF mission chief for Pakistan as saying that the IMF has not approved any relaxation in the fiscal deficit target. Mr Jeffery Franks said that the target remains at 4.9 per cent for this fiscal year while Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that National Action Plan (NAP) and rehabilitation of IDPs are going to put strain on the budget which would make it necessary to revise the deficit target. Mr Franks however said that there has been no final decision on changing the target and it will be discussed further with Pakistan in the coming weeks.
Top army brass, this week, met to review ongoing counter-terrorism operation in tribal region as well as increased incidents of sectarian killings in different parts of the country. Army’s top brass, during 179th corps commander conference, vowed to eliminate all forms of terrorism and terrorists from Pakistan’s soil without any discrimination.
The military command also reviewed related operational and legal issues regarding the army’s enhanced role in consonance with the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism. According to media reports, ongoing military operations in North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Agency, working of military courts and allocation of troops for the UN peacekeeping operations were also discussed in detail in the meeting.
Meanwhile two members of Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, a banned outfit, convicted of murder were hanged in the Karachi Central Jail on Tuesday as the government of Pakistan lifted moratorium on the capital punishment in wake of school attack in Peshawar. Both convicts were awarded capital punishment in 2004 for killing Dr Ali Raza in Karachi in 2001.
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